Party wall act
In the case of your property sharing an adjoining wall with a neighbour, there must then be a written agreement between both parties before any work can commence.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, states that any property owner who shares a party wall must notify their neighbour in due course about the work they plan to have on their property. Because of the shared ownership of the party wall, you must therefore receive consent from your neighbour through writing with a Party Structure Notice and an Acknowledgement Form. It is common for neighbours of a party wall to agree and give consent to any work you wish to carry out, however if this is not the case the following are instructions for possible scenarios:
If a neighbour is unreachable and therefore unable to sign any agreement concerning the party wall, it is then you as the proprietor’s responsibility to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor on your neighbour’s behalf.
In the unfortunate circumstances that both you the proprietor and your neighbour are unable to agree the terms of your loft conversion, you are then able to appoint an “Agreed Surveyor”. This will be an agreed decision from both parties and the Surveyor will then contract an ‘award’ certificate that satisfies both parties.
Another possible instance in the case of an unwilling neighbour is they appoint their own Surveyor to write an award certificate. If this occurs, we strongly advise that you too appoint your own Surveyor. Once this has occurred, both appointed Surveyors will then meet and draw a contract that best satisfies both yourself and your neighbour.
However, if the two separately appointed Surveyors fail to reach an agreeable contract, a nominated third party Surveyor will be contacted. The nominated third party will then go on to draw the most impartial and satisfactory award with both parties in mind.
It should be made clear that any costs for required surveyors usually fall to that of the proprietor.